Usually, when a site experiences unscheduled downtime, it’s cause for concern, but when Tumblr – the up and coming blogging platform – experienced downtime on Friday March 4, 2011, it was cause for excitement as they added their new Explore pages.
Jared Keller of the Atlantic reports that Tumblr is adding the new feature to create an easier and more manageable organization system on the blogging site. Joshua Nguyen from Tumblr notes, “we’ve been experimenting with some brand new tools for exploring Tumblr. The new Explore page organizes and filters posts by tag. This means that every tagged post has a chance to show up in front of an audience of millions that might not otherwise see it. Think Tumblr Radar by topic.”
In many ways, the Explore pages are an obvious progression from Tumblr’s tagged pages, and their addition to the site will help sort and filter blog posts while keeping the site’s sleek look. This is, in and of itself, important, as Tumblr is not always straightforward to navigate, particularly for newbie users.
More importantly, however, the Explore pages sort by topic and popularity, allowing people see posts about the topics that interest them. The hope is this will allow users to stumble across posts, and blogs, they might otherwise miss. Whether or not the Explore pages will actually draw significant amounts of new readership to a blog is yet to be seen, but the potential is certainly there.
As Tumblr continues to grow, recognizing the diversity of their users’ interests and creating a filtering system to cater to this diversity, is an excellent way to continue to expand their user base.